chennaiyin fc
[File] Chennaiyin FC team during a practice session in Kolkata on Dec 15, 2015.IANS

Defending Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC have announced that they are ready to give a chance once again to two footballers who didn't really get that great an amount of game time in the last season. Brazilian defender Eder Fernandes and Indian goalkeeper Pawan Kumar have been retained ahead of ISL 2016.

The duo joins the likes of Bernard Mendy, Raphael Augusto, Harmanjot Singh Khabra and Karanjit Singh, who were earlier retained for the third season of the Indian Super League.

The franchisee from South India have not announced any new signings thus far, as they are more focused as of now to retain the core of the team which defeated FC Goa 3-2 in Goa in the ISL 2015 final. Former Italy star defender Marco Materazzi will also remain the head coach of the side for the third-straight season.

Following the retaining of the duo, Materazzi said: "Although Eder did not get to play much last year he had a positive influence in the dressing room and we hope to have him at his best this year. Pawan is a great lad and team player. We are happy to have him back."

Eder, 32, a former player of Vasco da Gama, featured just twice for Chennaiyin FC last season. He thereafter stayed back in India to ply his trade for I-League outfit Salgaocar FC, where he clocked up a total of 11 appearances.

"I would like to thank the owners and coach Marco Materazzi for giving me another opportunity at Chennaiyin," said the Brazilian. "The club and the fans were fantastic towards me even though I hardly played due to injuries. I am determined to prove myself and help the team win the trophy again."

Pawan, on the other hand, an I-League winner with Bengaluru FC in the 2013-14 season, couldn't make even a single appearance last year in the ISL as Indian custodian Karanjit and Cameroon hotshot Edel Bete were entrusted with the goalkeeping duties by Materazzi.

However, with the FIFA World Cup winner for Italy giving the young Indian goalie yet another chance to shine, we could expect Pawan to make an appearance for Chennaiyin FC in ISL 2016.

"After not being included in the draft last year I thought I would miss out from playing in the ISL but Chennaiyin showed faith in me and I am grateful to them for believing in me this year again. I know it will be very difficult to break into the first 11 but I will work very hard and keep myself ready whenever the coach would need me," Pawan, 26, said.

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